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AT&T’s New Unlimited Plan Is Terrible

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Every other carrier is updating their unlimited wireless plans these days, so why not AT&T? Following the lead of Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, AT&T trotted out a new plan of its own that isn’t so new — and unlikely to win over many fans.

AT&T’s unlimited data plan costs $100 a month for a single line, the most expensive of any unlimited option. Sprint’s plan starts at $60 a month, which the carrier is currently discounting to $50; T-Mobile’s and Verizon’s unlimited plans cost $70 and $80 a month, respectively.

Adding additional lines costs $40 each, but AT&T is waiving the cost of the fourth line. That means a family of four pays $180.

CarrierPrice (For 1 line)Family Price (For 4 Lines)FeaturesWho’s It Good For
AT&THD video streaming, No Hotspot DataExisting AT&T customers who really want unlimited data
T-MobileHD video streaming, 10GB of Hotspot dataCustomers who want a simple bill and T-Mobile’s regular freebies
VerizonHD video streaming, 10GB of Hotspot dataCustomers who appreciate Verizon’s network performance and reach
SprintHD video streaming, 10GB of Hotspot data, 1.5 Mbps music streamingCustomers who want the cheapest unlimited option, regardless of network

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But wait — there’s less. AT&T doesn’t offer hotspot data with its unlimited plan. The three other major carriers each provide 10GB of LTE hotspot data, though that’s a recent change for Sprint and T-Mobile, who tweaked their plans this week to match what Verizon offers.

Credit: jorome/

Credit: jorome/
On the bright side, you’ll be able to stream HD video on AT&T’s unlimited plan. On the confusion side, AT&T’s Stream Saver feature — which throttles video resolution — is turned on by default, and you’ll need to switch it off to enjoy that HD streaming.

Eagle-eyed plan watchers may recognize AT&T’s new unlimited offering as the exact same plan it made available to DirecTV and U-Verse subscribers. Until now, to get unlimited data from AT&T, you had to subscribe to one of those two TV services. That requirement is gone now, but given the cost of AT&T’s plan and the lack of hotspot data, it’s fair to wonder just how many people will take advantage of the offer. 

See also : The Best AT&T Phones of 2017 (Including Exclusives)

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